Alex Rins: ‘From the footpeg to my arse is shorter!’

After six years as a Suzuki rider, Alex Rins makes his Honda MotoGP race debut at this weekend’s 2023 Portimao season opener.
Alex Rins, LCR Honda MotoGP Portimao 2023
Alex Rins, LCR Honda MotoGP Portimao 2023

With less than five days of proper testing to switch from the GSX-RR, with which he won two of the last three races, to the RC213V, Rins heads into Friday’s practice sessions with development work still to do.

“The bike is ready to start the GP weekend, but still we have items to try,” he said. “We had. 2.5 days in Malaysia, because it was raining one day, and then the two days here. So still for tomorrow we have planned to re-test some things.”

Nonetheless Rins, directly behind Repsol Honda riders Joan Mir and Marc Marquez on last weekend’s Portimao test timesheets, feels “quite adapted to the bike. For sure I didn’t make any races yet, so let's see how it goes in a real condition. But I feel prepared."

Remote video URL

Marquez predicted he could fight for a position somewhere between fifth and tenth after the Portimao test, an estimate Rins roughly agrees with.

“It will be difficult to be in the top five,” he said. “Many Ducatis in the front, Yamaha there, Aprilia… We will try our best. I don't know the final position. But if you look at the pace we were on P10 more or less. But then in a race things can change, for positive or negative.”

The RCV was the only bike that failed to win a race last season and, from the winter timesheets, still looks to be a step behind the likes of Ducati, Aprilia and Fabio Quartararo’s Yamaha.

“I don't say negative, let's say things we still need to improve - a little bit the aerodynamic side and the grip exiting from the corners. The bike is still moving and we spin a little bit,” he explained.

Unlike the factory Honda team, Rins doesn’t yet have the new carbon clutch, which has proved tricky for Marquez and Mir during practice starts.

“They are using a different spec compared to me, they are using the carbon and I'm using the metal one,” Rins said. “So for sure [that is] different to the Suzuki one. But I need to wait more races to get that one.

“In my case, for my clutch and the spec that I have, more or less it’s similar to the Suzuki one.”

'From the footpeg to my arse is shorter!” 

In terms of the biggest difference he has felt compared to the Suzuki, Rins revealed that aside from engine configuration (V4 instead of Inline 4), it’s the ergonomics.

“Compared to the other bike I rode, this bike from the footpeg to my arse is shorter!” he said. “I felt this immediately when I jumped on at Valencia. This is the unique, big difference I felt.

“OK for sure the engine also. But in rider position, this one. I tried to modify a little bit, but we cannot go so much lower [with the footpeg] because otherwise the footpeg will touch on the ground.”

However, Rins denied that the Honda feels taller than the Suzuki, in terms of weight transfer under braking and acceleration.

Read More